ST GENEVIEVE'S High School have welcomed back Northern Ireland footballing heroes Kirsty and Caitlin McGuinness for a kick about and chat with their Year 11 GCSE P.E pupils, including their own sister Orleigha.

The girls are coming to terms with their new found "celebrity status" after being part of the historic ladies' team who have qualified for the first time for the European Championships which will be held in England next year.

Welcoming them back to the school, Head of P.E Mrs Eileen Haigney said: "Kirsty and Caitlin are great inspirational role models, not only for the students at St Genevieve's but for the next generation of young football players from all over Ireland who will be inspired by the success of this great team. If they see it, they will believe it, they too can achieve it.

"Their visit to our school today will give a much needed boost to our students at a time when sport, having been put on hold due to the pandemic, has been given the green light."

Principal Jackie Bartley added: "We are so pleased that the girls could take time out of their schedule to come and visit our girls in school.

"They are role models, they are inspirational and they are what all of our girls need to see to show that women in sport can succeed at the highest level.

"They are an inspiration to all the girls here at St Genevieve's."

Describing how it felt to be back at her old school, Caitlin said: "It is mad. It is good to be back. There are loads of footballers here and it is good to inspire them and hopefully one day they will be back here in our position."

Kirsty added: "It is great coming back. The school have been a great support for us be that on social media or texting us. Hopefully the girls here can see what they can achieve playing football and hopefully it will inspire a lot more of them to go on and play.

"I think the success that we have had will go a long way in promoting women's football.

"You can see it from the numbers that were watching it on TV and even on social media where the support has been absolutely crazy."

When asked what advice would she give to the girls she met today, Kirsty said: "our sport is so much more than football. It is a family, it's a home, it's friends, it's a full community.

"When you go to a club you will meet some of the best friends who you will be friends with the rest of your life.

"There will be times where it will be difficult and you will want to give up but the hard nights of training is absolutely worth it, especially when you achieve something like we have with qualifying for the Euros."